Sales of the PlayStation Vita have been far from stellar since the device’s launch in December 2011, and a lack of third-party support isn’t helping. Plus, mobile developers have far more attractive options.
In an interview with Gamasutra, Sony president Shuhei Yoshida admitted that the PS Vita was suffering without support from developers, especially in contrast to the PSP:
“One thing that was surprising and disappointing to us was the [lower] number of third parties to come out [in support] after launch. In retrospect, there are so many options for publishers now that we cannot take it for granted that our new platform would be supported by third parties, like [it would’ve been] many years ago.”
Mobile and social games have also eaten into the Vita’s potential, he said. “There are limited resources that third party publishers have, and they have to diversify into new areas constantly; that’s a challenge to get the support that we want.
Just by the current trends in the gaming market, it’s no wonder that game developers are picking safer options for their projects, like Apple’s iPhone and iPod lineup, plus the Android side of the market.
Looking at the basics, it’s far smarter for developers to target the hundreds of millions of smartphone and tablet owners, rather than the two million people who own a PS Vita. With Sony so strapped for cash, the PS Vita has become a bigger liability to Sony than the 3DS was to Nintendo—something that won’t be fixed without drastic measures, like a price cut.